What Is COBRA?

COBRA1 (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) allows you to maintain your employer group health plan (EGHP), or private insurance after you stop working if your employer has more than 20 employees.

You may qualify for COBRA if you meet the following circumstances as a covered employee, spouse of a covered employee or dependent child:

  • Stopped working (except termination for gross misconduct)
  • Working hours were reduced
  • Experienced other life-changing events2 (divorce/legal separation, death of the covered employee, enrollment in Medicare, loss of dependent-child status)

COBRA FAQ

Q: How can I pay for COBRA?

A: You may pay the full premium or, if you are eligible, pursue payment-support options such as the American Kidney Fund’s Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP), and Medicaid in some states.

Q: How long might I have COBRA coverage?

A: - Termination/reduction in work hours: 18 months

    - All other circumstances listed above: 36 months

    - Extensions available for up to 11months under certain circumstances

Q: What do I do when COBRA ends?

A: If you are not eligible for another EGHP, you may be eligible to shift to Medicare and/or Medicaid.

Want to learn more about how COBRA works?

  • Individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who have not yet started dialysis, please call the Patient Advocate Helpline 1-888-405-8915.
  • DaVita dialysis patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD), please contact your insurance counselor or social worker OR fill out our Insurance Support Form.

1. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

2. All events in relationship to a covered employee.

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